Smart Home Makes Strides at CES 2017

Feb. 14, 2017
A roundup of the major security-related news and technologies at the January show

Nearly every security-related device introduced at CES in 2017 tied into the smart home or smart business; however, when looking deeper at smart home product introductions, research firm IHS Markit saw changing business models at the massive show. “Many of the top smart home service providers have focused on manufacturing their own devices in order to create a seamless look and feel across devices,” explains IHS analyst Blake Kozak. “Although partnerships will still hold great importance, service providers are looking to build up their own device portfolio and develop proprietary back-end software and artificial intelligence (AI).”

Two big examples of this in the security industry focused on proprietary intelligent platforms for smart homes that will rely on AI to automate the devices within the home to work together seamlessly – one from (Insights Engine) and another from Vivint (Sky).

Overall, there were more than 190 exhibitors with a smart home offering at CES 2017, IHS reports. “Despite this fragmentation, it is clear the smart home market is finding maturity in North America,” Kozak says. “As the smart home is pushed to the consumer from all sides, awareness will grow and prices will fall with one of the final hurdles being consumer imagination.”

Here’s a look at some of the security-related companies and technologies that made news at CES 2017:

Familiar Security Industry Players

ADT announced the addition of Amazon Echo and Echo Dot products to its Pulse ecosystem, enabling customers to use Alexa to arm and disarm their home security system through simple voice commands and a secure PIN. ADT will also offer Alexa devices directly to new and existing customers. “Incorporating Amazon Alexa devices into our offerings is the perfect example of people and technology coming together to ensure our customer’s smart home is a safe home,” said Jamie Haenggi, Chief Marketing Officer, ADT. Following its integration with ADT in May 2016, customers of Protection 1 will also have access to the Alexa integration.

Created with DIY and pro installations in mind, Honeywell introduced the Lyric C1 and C2 Wi-Fi Indoor Cameras. The accompanying app provides access to live streaming, recorded events, screenshots and will send alerts when something is seen (or even heard and analyzed using the built-in microphone, such as a smoke/CO detector going off, or a crying baby). The Lyric C1 Camera captures HD, 30fps video with a 135-degree viewing angle, while the Lyric C2 Camera records in Full HD at 30fps and has a 138-degree viewing angle. A built-in speaker on both models makes two-way talk possible. Wired power means no batteries, and the cameras include local storage via an 8GB SD card. Free cloud storage per day is also included, with 7- and 30-day upgrades available. launched its Insights Engine, a multi-sensor learning capability that recognizes and proactively responds to unexpected activity around a property. The proprietary machine learning capability identifies patterns and insights in the growing set of data generated by devices and sensors in a connected property. By learning the unique activity patterns of any home or business, it can respond to unusual activity on behalf of the homeowner by taking action through connected devices. If the Insights Engine determines that the homeowner should be alerted to potential safety or security issues, a push notification is sent, all without the homeowner having to create custom rules or notifications. Additionally, announced plans to work with the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight drone platform to develop autonomous, video-enabled drone applications to extend smart home and business security systems.

Nortek Security & Control debuted the 2GIG Vario Hybrid Security System, which consists of a security control panel with on-board hardwire inputs and outputs, which can add wireless capabilities to take advantage of 2GIG’s existing wireless solutions. Vario has multiple keypad styles, a variety of zone and output expanders, two options for power supply expansion, two-way voice compatibility, two distinct receiver options, and a variety of tamper-protected enclosures. It is fully compatible with a number of current automation and access control systems, including the Linear e3 platform. The panel comes equipped with 8 hardwired zones and 4 programmable outputs and supports additional expansion boards that can increase the number of programmable outputs by 4 or 8. Nortek also introduced six new Z-Wave 500 series lighting devices to its GoControl smart home control devices.

Panasonic announced the KX-HNC800B Full HD Home Monitoring Camera. A single camera provides coverage in large rooms and spaces with a 142-degree diagonal wide-angle view in a slim, contemporary profile that fits on shelves or cabinets, or mounts easily on an interior wall. When monitoring is not required or necessary, the camera includes a manual sliding privacy shutter to cover the camera and microphone and disable the unit.

Interlogix, a unit of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, announced the expansion of its UltraSync Smart Home system. Select devices and controllers from Aeon Labs, an in-home automation products company, are now compatible with UltraSync, and the system includes enhancements including: A secondary 7-inch touchscreen for system programming and control; automations including sunrise/sunset triggers and timers; interface with the ecobee3 Wi-Fi thermostat and the Bryant HouseWise smart thermostat; and the UltraSync Indoor Desktop IP/Wi-Fi camera. A limited edition smart home kit with basic self-monitoring capability will also be available. “As a security manufacturer, it’s also important to us to ensure that UltraSync provides professional grade security options for home protection that offers added peace of mind,” said Interlogix’s Shin Voeks.

Smart Homes

  • LG Electronics USA announced the retail launch of its new plug-and-play monitoring solution and home automation hub, LG Smart Security – a device to be secured by ADT Canopy, a no-contract service for 24/7 professional monitoring. "Professional installation is one of the biggest barriers for any consumer electronics product," said David VanderWaal, vice president of marketing, LG Electronics USA. "With the incorporation of ADT Canopy, consumers now can enjoy professional security monitoring."
  • Vivint Smart Home introduced its own true smart home assistant – Vivint Sky. Leveraging artificial intelligence, it can automatically manage the connected devices in a home, including locks, lights, thermostat and security system. The system’s machine learning algorithms use data from smart home sensors, as well as from mobile devices and system usage, to provide intelligent recommendations and take action to streamline the home experience.
  • Volansys launched HomeBridge, a multi-function IoT Gateway for home automation based on the ZigBee protocol. It enables quick and easy commissioning of sensors/devices, and it can be plugged into a standard wall outlet. It can connect and control 60-plus smart home devices.
  • Fortress Cyber Security announced the Fortress UTM, a residential unified threat management (UTM) appliance – an all-inclusive security product able to cyber-secure both computers and internet of things (IoT) systems. It features a large touchscreen for easy set up and threat detection/notification.
  • Jasco Products, a specialist in smart lighting controls and LED lighting announced a license agreement under which it will produce smart lighting and appliance controls, timers, wired and wireless connectivity solutions, and power products in North America under the Honeywell brand.
  • Lutron announced compatibility of its smart lighting products with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, as well as the Samsung SmartThings app, Nest Cam and others.

Video Surveillance

  • Ambarella is bringing 8K video to cameras with the H3 System-on-Chip (SoC) – currently designed for high-end drones and 360-degree and virtual reality cameras. The H3 enables 8K Ultra HD H.264/AVC video at 30 frames per second, as well as multiple video streams with equivalent performance, including 360-degree cameras with dual 4KP60 sensor video capture.
  • Smartvue Corp., announced a new suite of features to prevent and minimize DDoS attacks, deter other IoT focused hacks, and improve overall platform security. These include updated real-time monitoring and improved automated services scaling along with advanced rate limiting systems and seven other new features. To address common camera hacks Smartvue is also expanding its services to support rotating and unique strong passwords and the latest in cryptography and SSL support along with improved authentication solutions.
  • Blink launched its Blink XT outdoor camera. The weatherproof unit features two-year battery life, infrared night vision and 1080p full HD video. Available for $119, the company says it makes home security accessible to everyone.
  • Ring’s new Floodlight Cam features an HD (1080p) video camera, cloud recording, the loudest speaker on any outdoor camera, a 100dB siren, 270-degree motion detection, smart LED lights and IR (night vision). The DIY product is easy to install and can be powered using a home’s existing floodlight wiring.
  • PogoTec’s announced the PogoCam, the world’s smallest wearable camera attachable to eyewear.

Fire & Life Safety

  • Kidde, part of UTC Climate, Controls & Security, debuted smoke and combination alarms that include  wireless interconnection, allowing alarms throughout the home to “talk” to each other without the need for hardwiring or Wi-Fi. In the event of an alarm, voice alerts plus color-coded LED lights built into the alarms communicate the type of hazard. The line features six models, including a smoke alarm, a smoke and carbon monoxide combination alarm, and a smoke alarm featuring an ultra-bright LED escape light.
  • Compatible with Apple HomeKit and Amazon Alexa, First Alert’s Onelink products – winner of an IHS Markit Innovation Award at the show – include a 2-in-1 wireless combination smoke and CO alarm that includes mobile push notifications; an Envirocam that detects micro-movements to monitor breathing directly from the camera; an Environment Monitor for CO and temperature monitoring; and a smart thermostat.
  • Airthings  unveiled a smart radon detector that provides consumers with critical, potentially life-saving information on indoor air quality, accessible via smartphone or tablet. “We’re seeing increased attention to radon exposure, thanks to initiatives from the EPA and legislation at the state level,” Airthings CEO Oyvind Birkenes said.

Intrusion Detection

  • Cognitive Systems Corp. unveiled Aura, a home security system that uses patented spectrum analytics technology to detect and monitor motion without using cameras. The system monitors the disruption of wireless signals caused by movement in the home, and users are notified via smartphone of unauthorized motion. “By using radio frequencies to detect motion, we provide a more dependable solution to consumers by eliminating most of the false detections that occur with traditional sensors,” said Taj Manku, co-founder of Cognitive Systems.
  • Every sound tells a story – especially in the home. Audio Analytic, an Artificial Intelligence company addressing sound recognition for the smart home, demonstrated its ai3 platform, which can recognize the sound of a window breaking or a smoke alarm, for example, and alert the owners and emergency services while triggering other devices within the home to take appropriate action.

Access Control

  • Yale Locks & Hardware announced that the full line of Yale Real Living Assure Locks will be HomeKit compatible by the end of March 2017, thanks to the addition of a HomeKit Network Module.
  • August Home Inc., showcased the August Smart Lock Mortise Kit that converts mortise style locks – which combine the functionality of a locking bolt and door handle in one – into a smart lock.
  • Kwikset introduced the Obsidian smart lock – a slim, modern, key-free unit that can connect to smart home automation or security systems. The dark, sleek touchscreen eliminates the need for traditional keys. It will be available for purchase in Spring 2017.
  • The Brink’s Home Security ARRAY smart lock is a cloud- and app-enabled internet of things (IoT) device that homeowners can use without adding separate hubs or accessories. It connects to the cloud using a home’s existing Wi-Fi router, and a built-in solar panel eliminates the need to replace and discard batteries.
  • Fuel3D’s 360 Scanner captures high-resolution 3D data (accurate to 0.2mm), capturing both shape and color data of mid-sized objects – around the size of a human head and shoulders. To support application development, an SDK will enable users to integrate the product into their own applications – which, the company claims – can include biometric security systems.

Paul Rothman is Editor in Chief of Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I) magazine. Access the most recent issue, along with archives and subscription links at